2010-11: Teemu Kivihalme was one of the few ninth-graders to ever participate in the Upper Midwest Elite League, skating in five games for Team North in the fall, and played in 27 games for Burnsville High School in Minnesota. He scored 3 goals with 11 assists and was +7 with 12 penalty minutes. Coached by Kivihalme’s father Janne, an All-American Division III defenseman at Wisconsin-Superior in the 1990′s, Burnsville reached the Section 2 AA final, falling to Edina, 3-2. A dual citizen of Finland and the USA, Kivihalme returned to his father’s native country to participate in the Finnish U17 camp in the summer.
2011-12: Kivihalme played in two games for Team Southeast in the Upper Midwest Elite League in the fall and led all Burnsville defensemen with 31 points in 28 games as a sophomore. He scored 9 goals with 22 assists and had 25 penalty minutes. The Blaze again reached the Section 2AA Final, falling 6-3 to Edina. Kivihalme attended USA Hockey’s Select 17 Development Camp and in August committed to playing hockey at Colorado College in 2014-15.
2012-13: Kivihalme represented the USA at the 2012 U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in August before returning to Burnsville for his junior year and made his USHL debut with Fargo. He had 1 assist and was +1 in four games with the Force. Kivihalme was -2 with no points playing in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. H e scored 9 goals with 22 assists and had 24 penalty minutes in 28 games for Burnsville. The Blaze and Edina met in the Section 2AA Final for the third straight season, with Edina winning, 3-2. Kivahalme was ranked 64th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2013 NHL Draft.
2013-14: Kivihalme skipped his senior season of high school hockey to skate for the Fargo Force in the USHL. It was a challenging season both team-wise (Fargo finish last in the Western Division; winning just 14 of 60 games) and on a personal level (minus-22 in 47 games) for Kivihalme. He was the second-leading scorer amongst Force defensemen behind Bentley University-bound Tanner Jago. Kivihalme scored three goals with 9 assists and had 12 penalty minutes. He played for the USA U19 team that won a gold medal at the 2013 World Junior A Challenge and had no points with 2 penalty minutes in four games.
Kivihalme is an exciting but undersized offense-oriented defenseman. He is a silky smooth skater who spent summer in his father's native Finland and has some European-style puck possession elements to his game. He has a good first pass and sees the ice well.
Kivihalme was drafted out of Minnesota ice school hockey with the understanding that he would be heading to Colorado College. He is still very much a work in progress and will need to add size and strength but long-term he has the ability and mindset to be an effective offensive defenseman.